Author Topic: The Shell Necklace  (Read 2932 times)

Offline *Lorraine*

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The Shell Necklace
« on: October 17, 2006, 09:46:42 AM »
I originally wrote this as an exercise but I'm hoping to include it in my novel.  Would it work as a memory triggered off by a photograph when the adult Francesca is going through the family album?


In her seventh year Francesca’s family spent their August holiday at a farmhouse in Devon.  She was paddling in the mid-day heat at Anstey’s Cove when her mother called her over to sit on the scratchy tartan rug and share the picnic lunch.  Fran attempted to remove the sand from her hands by brushing them vigorously on the rouched material of her swimming costume but when she bit into the ham roll she heard as well as felt the particles of sand crunching between her teeth.  She struggled on but fortunately her father took pity and reached into the pocket of his shorts. “Buy yourself a lolly when you’ve finished” he whispered conspiratorially. 

Fran’s small bare feet skipped lightly across the sand then pattered along the worn wooden decking towards the sun-bleached paintwork of the café; the hot coin imprinting itself into her sweaty palm.  She was anticipating the refreshing coolness of a strawberry mivi as she joined the line of patient customers on the veranda.  When Fran eventually reached the door she made way for a lady in a towelling robe who was carefully balancing a tin tray, leaving a cloud of sweetly sugared tea behind her.  Fran attempted to avoid the numerous wasps that were manoeuvring through the queue, their purposeful flight-pattern reminded her of the way she’d seen the sharks swimming at the aquarium the day before. 

Something hanging from a peg behind the table of souvenirs caught her eye.  It was a necklace of small periwinkle shells, in almost edible hues of lime green, beetroot purple, lemon yellow and cherry red, all interspersed with an electric shade of turquoise.  Fran found herself gliding hypnotically towards it, unable to blink.  She imagined how it’s owner, a pale and slippery mermaid, had lost it in a seaweed pool just before the tide washed it into a nearby cave.  Slowly opening her fist she looked down at the single coin as if to reconfirm its value. It wasn’t enough.  The overwhelming desire to possess the multicoloured necklace mingled with frustration and disappointment.  Fran didn’t know it at the time but this wouldn’t be the only occasion when she would feel this way.  It was the first of many.

Lorraine
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Offline Samhain

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 09:54:40 AM »
I like this, and I think with a bit of tweaking it could fit into something else.  It would depend on the pace and content of the story, but I could see it working with the scene you described.  The end doesn't really feel like an ending.  It leaves too much hanging.  Maybe that last statement is explained in the novel?

Offline *Lorraine*

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 10:02:53 AM »
Thanks Samhain. 

I guess this is one of the first occasions when Fran has been able to analyse her feelings rather than just react to them.  Part of learning that 'life is unfair'.
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Offline Astra

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 10:12:51 AM »
This conjures a vivid picture of the seaside through subtle show and not tell. 

memnoch

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 01:44:41 PM »
yeah i think that could work as a flash back with a little re-structuring and tweaking. It would be a very good flash back. is this shell necklace a metaphor for something later on. It would only work as a flash back if it is relevant.

Offline *Lorraine*

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2006, 02:27:11 PM »
Good point memnoch.  I think you're right, it might work as a flash-back if the necklace is relevant.  Maybe Fran finds it stored away in her mother's things after the funeral. 

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Offline sputnick

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 06:50:46 AM »
Hi Lorraine

Yes I think it would work well. There are some nice descriptions in this piece, but watch out for the 2nd paragraph's opening sentence. Too cluttered.

Offline oliver

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Re: The Shell Necklace
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2006, 07:16:49 AM »
Hi Lorraine, really enjoyed the piece. Some good descriptions and I liked the flow. I agree with the comment by sputnick that the 2nd paragraph's opening sentence could be worked on. Keep going. Oliver
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